The Midway Foundation helps fund education programs, organizations, and initiatives that support America’s core values of service and sacrifice in the name of freedom. The Foundation developed the “Pillars of Freedom” granting program to support organizations that support uniformed military members, veterans and first responders.

“Since 2016, the Foundation has granted $2.7 million to 51 organizations,” said Laura White, President of the Midway Foundation. “And we won’t stop there.”

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, speaks at the award breakfast.

Grants have ranged from $5,000 to $90,000 over the past five years and have impacted more than 100,000 individuals. During an award breakfast in November, the 2022 grants totaling $305,000 were presented to 12 local organizations including the San Diego Armed Forces YMCA, the Fallen Officers Fund, Support The Enlisted Project (STEP), and the San Diego USO.

“It’s an extra special partnership we have with the Midway,” said Stan Schwartz, vice chairman of the Fallen Officers Fund. “Our organization supports law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, helping financially the families of those officers. The Fund has helped more than 100 families cope with the loss of a loved one since 1998. We really appreciate the Midway Foundation for all their support.”

On hand for the grant announcement was Supervisor Nathan Fletcher who is chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors and former U.S. Marine Corps counterintelligence specialist, and Supervisor Joel Anderson, a strong proponent of veteran issues.

“Midway is a world-class destination for millions of folks that showcases the best of San Diego, the best of our service and the best of our culture,” said Nathan. “But what is sometimes lost, is not what the Midway does for its visitors, but how the Museum and its Foundation give back to the community. The Midway Foundation plays a vital role in supporting our community. It’s a story we need to tell more about.”

Another 2022 grantee was Support The Enlisted Project (STEP). STEP’s mission is to assist young military families who find themselves in a financial crisis through counseling, education and grants. The ultimate goal is to have these families build financial self-sufficiency.

STEP boasts an impressive success rate with only four percent of the families they help coming back into the program.

“What we do is only possible through the strong and dedicated support of the community,” said Tony Teravainen, CEO and co-founder of STEP. “I’m forever thankful to the Midway Foundation for their support.”

The Foundation is also building an endowment to support the museum’s education programs in perpetuity. In 2022, the Midway Foundation will take the lead on fundraising for Freedom Park at Navy Pier. To learn more about the Midway Foundation, contact Laura White at lwhite@midway.org.

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